More on Patient Engagement

Health 2.0 spotlights insurers using technology to improve customer experience

Anthem optimizes member interactions using digital solutions to leverage provider searches.

Susan Morse, Managing Editor

Insurers have historically looked at claims data to determine a member's health needs.

Technology has made that rear-view mirror approach no longer good enough, according to Jonna Kurucz, vice president of sales for Anthem.

Instead of looking back, Anthem has employed a digital solutions platform that allows the insurer to get healthcare information that's not yet in the patient record.

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For instance, if someone does a search on "low back," Anthem can start messaging the beneficiary around low back pain, according to Kurucz. That search becomes part of the member record, even though there's likely no claims evidence as yet on lower back trouble for that individual.

The digital solution is aimed at identifying individuals sooner, Kurucz said.

It includes search tools for beneficiaries to look for primary care facilities and urgent care.

Anthem can configure the search results at the group level, so that the providers that come up in a search first represent the most cost- effective, appropriate care and are the ones chosen by employers, such as the local, onsite clinic.

Kurucz and Alan Warren, chief technology officer and senior vice president of Engineering for Oscar Health, will present their findings on the technology that has worked for their organizations, during the Health 2.0 12th annual fall conference.

At Health 2.0, Kurucz will present Anthem's answer to employer requests for more cost effective care for employees and for more intuitive search results.

Kurucz works in the national account space, dealing with Fortune 500 customers. The majority, 98 percent, are self insured, paying  their own claims and hiring Anthem to leverage the network and customer service.

The employers often do business with multiple providers and vendors. To link all of these vendors, Anthem has created a digital hub that offers a single sign-on to access to all benefits, whether Anthem driven or not.

Through an Engage app, members can link to their Anthem medical information and resources, to their Delta Dental account, their vision VSP, fertility doctor or to their 401K vendor.

The app is available to beneficiaries to download as an app. It has a high download rate and customers have rated it a 4.7 out of 5, Kurucz said.

"It's highly regarded by customers," Kurucz said. "It's really leveraging technology differently."

For Anthem, she said, "It's been tremendously successful." 

The aggregation of the healthcare data has lead to significant decreases in recurring provider use, according to Kurucz.

The app also allows Anthem to reach members in a way the telephone doesn't. Not everyone answers their phone, she said. If Anthem has run analytics to determine who is at-risk for diabetes, individuals can be contacted through the app.

Members can then put in a call to someone at Anthem, click to chat or send a secure email.

"It's opening up different avenues of communication with members," Kurucz said.

Employers can connect to their members for wellness and engagement efforts, in an era driven by consumer demand for a personalized approach.

Oscar Health -- which just last week revealed that Alphabet has invested $375 million into it -- also uses technology to lower cost. More than 40 percent of Oscar Health members manage their health through the insurer's website and mobile app. 

Health 2.0

The Santa Clara conference will showcase cutting-edge innovation transforming healthcare Sept. 16-18.

Twitter: @SusanJMorse
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